Christine’s Florist celebrates 50 years of business in Ipswich
- Credit: Christine Hurst
The Bramford Road shop has been a fixture of the local community since 1970, and shop owner Christine continues to serve customers with a smile
“For fifty years, I have lived and breathed this job,” says Christine Hurst, reflecting on five decades of working as a florist in Ipswich. Christine opened her Bramford Road shop in 1970 at the age of 18, after training as a florist in London. To this day, Christine still happily serves customers at the shop, helped by a team of nine members of staff, along with her husband and her four children, who find time to lend a hand despite working jobs of their own.
“I’ve only been able to do this thanks to my amazing staff, fantastic customers and good suppliers,” Christine says.
From the very beginning, Christine’s friendly and professional service began to earn her a steady flow of loyal customers, including Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.
“I’ve always been very lucky with my customers,” says Christine. “When I first opened my shop, my dad told me to treat everyone the same, no matter if they are spending £2.50 or much more than that. That’s what keeps people coming back.”
Over the years, Christine’s Florist has formed close working relationships with some of the region’s leading businesses, including Ipswich Town Football Club and the East of England Co-op. But each and every customer is just as important to the team – whether that’s someone stopping by to pick up a birthday bouquet or a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day.
“No two days are ever the same in this job,” says Christine. “One morning, I might have someone come in who has lost their mum or dad and needs some sympathy, and later I might have a man come in for some apology flowers – he might spend £20 or £30 depending on how big of an apology he needs to make! I never get fed up of it and that’s why I’m still working today.”
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In five decades of business, Christine has never had to deal with anything quite like the situation we have experienced this year. And yet, the team has managed to keep on working remarkably well, and has adjusted to the highly unusual circumstances that we have all found ourselves in. While the shop has been closed, the team has managed to keep on fulfilling online and telephone orders during lockdown, dropping off bouquets on customers’ doorsteps from a safe distance. Now, with the Bramford Road shop open once again, the team is as busy as ever, fulfilling no-contact orders for anyone who stops by the store or orders remotely.
This month, as the shop marks its 50th birthday, the tight-knit team are giving something back to the customers that have supported them over the years, and will be sending out a free pot plant with every order in June.
“Because we’ve been here all these years, we’ve built up a level of trust with people,” says Christine. “That’s what makes it work.”
The team delivers fresh flowers daily, and a same day delivery service is available for orders received before 2pm and within a 12-mile radius of Ipswich. The team also offers a Click and Collect service. To order online, visit: www.christinesflorist.co.uk, or call the shop on 01473 250076.